A county is a geographic region within Gaelic games, controlled by a county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and originally based on the 32 counties of Ireland as they were in 1884. While the administrative geography of Ireland has since changed, with several new counties created and the six that make up Northern Ireland superseded by 11 local government districts, the counties in Gaelic games have remained largely unchanged.
However, the county as used in Gaelic games does not always and everywhere cover precisely the same territory as the traditional county. Particularly in the first 50 years of the Association but also in more recent times, there are many examples of clubs based in one of the administrative counties being allowed to participate in the leagues or championships of a neighbouring county. There are also instances where the official county boundary does not coincide precisely with the county as used in Gaelic games, for example where a club is based on a parish that crosses the county border. While in most cases the name of the county as used in Gaelic games is the same as that of the current or former administrative county, there have been exceptions: Derry has never used the official county name of Londonderry, and the board of the county then officially known as Queen's County changed its name in 1907 to Leix and Ossary, later becoming Laois. Each county board is responsible for organising GAA club fixtures within the county, and for the promotion and development of Gaelic games and the other objectives of the Association.
The county can also refer to the inter-county teams fielded by each county board. While in general any county, and only a county, is eligible to compete in the provincial and national championships and leagues, and almost all do so, again there can be anomalies: in the National Hurling League, for example, a team representing Fingal — a sub-region of the GAA county of Dublin, corresponding to the modern administrative county of Fingal — previously competed against other counties.
Since the inception of the county system, there have been changes to the respective regions of control of the overseas units. In Ireland the concept of the county is very strong and changing the county boundary is extremely controversial. In 2002 a proposal to divide Dublin in two was quickly and strongly opposed.
List of every county board Edit
The following is a list of the 32 county boards in Ireland and the 14 county boards outside of Ireland.
- Middle East
- New York
- United States
County boards in Ireland Edit
Listed below are the 32 county boards based in Ireland and the provincial council to which each is affiliated to. Connacht have five affiliated county boards, Leinster have twelve, Munster have six and Ulster have nine. Also provided is a map showing the location of the province, i.e. north, south, east, west.
(Contae Ard Mhacha)
(Contae an Chabháin)
(Contae an Chláir)
|Donegal||Dún na nGall
(Contae Dhún na nGall)
(Contae an Dúin)
(Contae Átha Cliath)
(Contae Fhear Manach)
(Contae na Gaillimhe)
(Contae Chill Dara)
(Contae Chill Chainnigh)
(Contae an Longfoirt)
(Contae Mhaigh Eo)
(Contae na Mí)
(Contae Uíbh Fhailí)
(Contae Ros Comáin)
(Contae Thiobraid Árann)
(Contae Thír Eoghain)
(Contae Phort Láirge)
(Contae na hIarmhí)
(Contae Loch Garman)
(Contae Chill Mhantáin)
County boards outside of Ireland Edit
Listed below are the 14 county boards outside of Ireland and the provincial council to which each is affiliated to. Seven county boards are affiliated to Britain and three county boards are affiliated to North America (an unofficial province). The remaining four county boards are not affiliated to any.
(Contae na hÁise)
(Contae na hAstráile)
|Middle East||An Meánoirthear
(Contae an Mheán-Oirthir)
(Contae na hAlban)
|United States||Stáit Aontaithe Mhéiriceá
(Contae Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá)
County teams Edit
40 of the 46 national and overseas county teams currently compete in the Hurling and Football Championships.
County teams outside of Ireland Edit
Counties as used in Gaelic games outside Ireland cover large geographic non-traditional areas which are not considered as counties in any other context. For example, Scotland is a county for GAA purposes, as is London, while the remaining counties of Great Britain cover wider areas than their names suggest. The Hertfordshire County Board, for example, oversees clubs in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire; Gloucestershire GAA reaches into South Wales, Warwickshire GAA includes Staffordshire and Birmingham, and so on. There are also "county boards" for Australasia, Canada, New York, the rest of United States, Europe and Asia, while other overseas GAA regions such as the Cayman Islands operate with their own structures not including county boards.
London county teams Edit
London county football team competes in the National Football league, Connacht Senior Football Championship, All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and Tailteann Cup. London county hurling team competes in the National Hurling League, All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and Christy Ring Cup.
Greatest Football achievement: Runners-up of the 2013 Connacht Senior Football Championship.
Greatest Hurling achievement: Winners of the 1901 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
New York county teams Edit
New York enters a county team in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and won its first game in the 2023 Connacht football championship vs Leitrim after more than 20 years of trying. They also enter the Tailteann Cup. New York last entered the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in 2006.
Greatest Football achievement: Semi-finalists of the 2023 Connacht Senior Football Championship.
Greatest Hurling achievement: Runners-up of the 2006 Ulster Senior Hurling Championship.
Warwickshire county teams Edit
Warwickshire county hurling team competes in the National Hurling League, All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and Lory Meagher Cup. Their football team competes in the All-Britain Junior Football Championship.
Greatest Football achievement: Winning two All-Britain Junior Football Championships in a row in 1968 and 1969.
Greatest Hurling achievement: Winners of the 2017 Lory Meagher Cup.
Lancashire county teams Edit
Lancashire county hurling team competes in the National Hurling League, All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and Lory Meagher Cup. Their football team competes in the All-Britain Junior Football Championship.
Greatest Football achievement: Winning four All-Britain Junior Football Championships in a row between 2010 and 2013.
Greatest Hurling achievement: Semi-finalists of the 1913 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
Other British county teams Edit
Inactive county teams Edit
See also Edit
- "Whelan slams Dublin split". BBC News. 27 January 2002. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- Gasaitéar na hÉireann / Gazetteer of Ireland. Dublin: Brainse Logainmneacha na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis / Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey. 1989. ISBN 978-0-7076-0076-5.
- Gaelic Athletic Association, International GAA County Boards: Retrieved http://www.gaa.ie/about-the-gaa/gaa-overseas/
- GAA Overseas Units official booklet